...and the winner is: the original webcomic logo.
I want to thank everyone for sharing their opinions; I appreciate it.
I think what happened with this book is that it's been in the works for sooo long, that I've had too much time to think about and re-think about virtually every aspect of the project.
I'd been noticing over the last couple of years all these snazzy, ultramodern, typographic cover layouts on various comic book titles – cover layouts that really get away from the standard "comic book" look and employ the type-oriented approach of book and magazine design. I think a lot of these comics look really cool, and I got the itch to play around with that sort of look. Something more grown-up and classy.
Thus, the type-driven, art-deco cover "dress" that I decided to use on Femme Noir.
I do think it's a solid design, and I'm pleased with it. I also like the way it showcases the artwork. But, I have to admit, finally, that Femme Noir's not the right book for that sort of approach. It's not grown-up and classy.
Femme Noir is cartoon pulp, with robot mobsters, jungle girls from monster islands, gorilla crimebosses with human brains, and mad scientists with magnetic ray cannons. It's a fantastic crime comic full of color and action and bigger-than-life characters.
When I commissioned Nate Piekos to design the Femme Noir logo shown above, I wanted a logo that would convey all that, and Nate, as usual, delivered. It's served the feature well over the past seven years or so on numerous websites and I would be an idiot to ignore that brand equity.
Now, I am an idiot quite often – but I'm not so dumb that I won't listen when people point my idiocy out to me. The art deco type treatment might work on a trade paperback aimed at the bookstore market, but the original logo is pure comic book... and so is Femme Noir.
Thanks again for the feedback, folks. Look for that logo up there in your favorite comic shops this Summer!